Outdoor Education

Exploring the world beyond the campus gates is an essential component of the Keystone experience.

From kindergarten through Upper School, Keystone students travel to nearby and distant locations to explore their world.

Lower School field trips are designed to support, enhance and enrich daily classroom instruction. Students attend plays, visit working farms, and sample the history of San Antonio and Austin. Middle School students travel overnight in pursuit of science, history and personal challenges, and Upper School students travel farther still.

The purpose of these excursions is to introduce students to incredible natural beauty and the joys of the outdoors, and to give students an opportunity to know each other better outside of the classroom. When students finish their schooling at Keystone, they often recount their trips over the years as the source of deepening their connections with teachers and with each other, and providing memories that last a lifetime.


Grade 4: Government Canyon

Students travel to the state park near Helotes to hike and explore as a class. Students have the option to camp overnight in tents.

Grade 5: Texas Caves

Fifth graders visit Natural Bridge Caverns and Wonder World Park to learn about wet and dry formation caves, and they stay overnight one night in cabins at T Bar M Camp in New Braunfels, where they participate in team building and orienteering activities.

Grade 6: Central Texas

Sixth graders travel to Nature’s Classroom Institute in New Ulm; students spend two nights in cabins, and they participate in activities that promote teamwork, leadership, and camaraderie.   The focus of this trip is the land, ecology, and environment of South Texas.

Grade 7: Rockport, Coastal Bend

Seventh graders visit Rockport and the Coastal Bend to learn more about Texas wildlife. Their trip includes an outing to Corpus Christi to visit the USS Lexington museum and taking a tour of Corpus Christi Bay.

Grade 8: Yellowstone National Park

Eighth graders travel to Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, where they study the geology and ecology of the park.  Students camp in tents for four nights and are responsible for helping cook meals as they work in groups to complete camp chores and tasks.

Grade 9: Olympic National Park

Not only does this trip provide an opportunity for returning Keystone students to bond with new classmates, it allows them to study the Olympic ecosystem of the Pacific Northwest, study old growth forests, conduct water-based science measurements and testing, and study the effect of dam removals on a salmon migration river.

Grade 10 – Florida wetlands

Sophomores travel to the Tampa, Florida area for wetlands research, marine biology instruction, and other learning about a complex North American ecosystem.  Side trips  include canoeing, hiking in Lake Myakka State Park, a visit to Siesta Key and swimming with manatees at Crystal River.

Grade 11: Virginia/Washington, D.C.

Visits to Civil War battle sites, hikes in the Shenandoah National Park and two days exploring DC museums and the Mall, will supplement the American history and American literature aspects of the junior year curriculum.  Planned excursions  include the National Museum of African American History and Culture and the National Gallery of Art.

Grade 12: Yosemite National Park

This trip brings students together to study the Yosemite ecosystem under the themes of a sense of place, interconnections, and stewardship. Students will work with Nature Bridge instructors to explore the climate, geology, geography, plant life, and animal life of Yosemite to grasp how and why Yosemite is changing.